WHAT do Sarah Ferguson, Kym Marsh and Leslie Ash all have in common?
Despite their successful careers, glamorous outfits and packed social lives, they are all first-time grandmothers, smashing the “granny” cliches of blue rinses, twin sets and sensible shoes.
And they are not alone. These four women are proof that style does not have to take a back seat in later life.
Ida, Caroline, Diana and Karen look and feel at least ten years younger, have busy social lives and GREAT sex.
Here’s how they do it.
‘I want to show other that age is just a number’
PA Karen Wilcox, 56, who lives with husband Mark, 58, in Dudley, West Mids, is mother to Jade, 29, and Paige, 25, and gran to Jade’s children Kian, 12, and one-year-old Kolby.
Karen has won three beauty pageants since she started competing five years ago and borrows Paige’s bodycon dresses.
She says: “I decided to join the pageant world following a health scare in 2016, when a brain tumour was discovered, because the thought of losing my life made me put myself out there more.
“I’ve recovered now and embrace life.
“I see Kian every day and he loves to sleep at our house about two or three times a week.
“We play card games together and watch Disney films, while I spoil him with treats like fizzy drinks.
“I idolise both of my grandkids, and Kian thinks I am “cool”.
“He described the new dragon tattoo on my leg as “ace”.
“I never struggle to keep up with the grandkids. My 29-year-old daughter Jade, who is Kolby’s mum, even makes me push Kolby’s pram because I am fitter than her.
“I am still young at heart, which definitely helps in the bedroom, because Mark and I have a fantastic sex life – we do it twice a week.
“I aspire to inspire by showing others that age is really only just a number.”
‘I have a second chance at fun stuff’
When she hung up her police uniform and retired after 27 years as a copper, Diana Catherine knew it was time to let her hair down.
The mum of two from Tamworth, Staffs – also nan to grandson Atlas, two – got her first tattoo, started a business decorating cakes, wrote a book and joined Tinder.
Now 56 and dating casino boss Andrew, 45, Diana says: “Being a nan doesn’t stop your life.
“When I worked for the police, I was a hard-nosed inspector, with no make-up or styled hair. It was a strict way of life in a very male-dominated role. I felt I couldn’t show any femininity.
“But now I’m free to be me and I am bold, sexy, glam and my own boss.
My life is 100mph.
“I met my toyboy partner Andrew on Tinder and I’ve been with him for five years.
“I love my grandson and just adore having him as much as possible.
“With the demands of my career, I never had as much time as I would have liked with my children when they were young.
“But now I have a second chance at the fun stuff.
“I miss Atlas if I haven’t seen him for longer than a few days and I always volunteer to pick him up from nursery, plus he sleeps over at least once a week.
“I go to the gym and swim three times a week, so it isn’t hard running after him in the garden.
“Growing up, I only saw my own grandma on special occasions, such as Christmas. She always wore slacks, a shirt and flat shoes. I’ve taken the opposite approach to grandparenting, as I’m always with Atlas.
“I have a good life. I run my own businesses, the Cake Decorating Academy, and two mentoring businesses. I’ve also recently written a book.
I feel unstoppable.
“Life got better when I became a nanny. I am looking forward to the future with Atlas and my other grandson, who is due any day now.”
‘Effort I put into my fitness has paid off’
Ida Symons, 62, who lives in Northwood, North West London, with husband Ray, a finance director, has three grandchildren but the energy levels of a teenager thanks to her fitness routine.
The events co-ordinator and grandma to four-month-old Asher, three-year-old Seth and five-month-old Sloane, says: “I run 20 miles each week, have taken part in an Olympic triathlon and a sprint triathlon, I swim 25 lengths twice a week and I do twice-weekly spin classes.
“I also work out in the local gym whenever I can, and when I am on holiday I cycle and run four miles every day.
“It is very time-consuming, but the effort I put in has worked, as my husband constantly compliments me.
“Being a granny is fun – my grandson tells me how pretty I look when I’m dressed up. My grandkids love staying over. We have a great time, my grandson jumping on the trampoline, climbing trees and running.
“I have a seaside holiday home, too, and we all love being on the beach together.
“Unfortunately, I never met any of my grandparents – they had all died by the time I was born.
“This makes me even more determined to continue to have great relationships with my grandkids as they get older.
“I feel very young, and my life is good – after 38 years of marriage I still find my husband very sexy. We have such a good sex life.
“We are still like teenagers, which my kids will kill me for saying.
“Keeping fit, healthy and looking good gives me the confidence and strength to tackle anything life throws at me and doesn’t make me feel afraid of ageing.”
‘Living my life in the best way I can’
WITH her youthful looks, Caroline De Rubertis is often taken to be one-year-old Maisie’s mother, not her grandma.
Caroline, 46, from Worthing, West Sussex, is mum to two grown-up boys and is currently setting up a domestic violence charity.
She says: “The name Gran is important to me but doesn’t define my lifestyle.
“My grandma was very old-fashioned and we weren’t allowed to speak about things like sex or periods but Maisie will be allowed to speak to me about anything.
“I plan to take her shopping, to theme parks and to the pub when she’s older. People have even mistaken me for Masie’s mum, not grandma.
“I really am living my life in the best way I can. My partner is six years younger than me and the sex is amazing.
“I’ve only just found out how good sex can be and our ages don’t make a difference. Being older and carefree makes it better. We are very adventurous.
“I love going to the gym three times a week and have an active social life.
In my work life, I am at an exciting stage of a new project – starting a national charity to support survivors of domestic violence.
“I have missed travelling a lot since Covid and can’t wait to book more holidays, including a very messy hen night to celebrate my eldest son getting married.
“Life has never felt so good. I love my family and my granddaughter is wonderful. I may be called a gran but am eager to carry on living life the way many would in their twenties.”